Tag Archives: TSA

The TSA is Ten Today

Ten years ago today, President George W. Bush signed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act into law. It the ten intervening years, the TSA has managed an impressive list of accomplishments.

Thanks to the TSA, the last ten years have brought travelers long security lines, sexual harassment, public embarrassment, invasion of privacy, increased security fees, and a (published) price tag approaching $100 billion.

A recent article posted by @laborunionrpt points to the machine feeding the machine, as TSA unionization becomes a very real possibility and a boon for labor unions and their progressive voting initiatives.

Thanks, TSA, for the ten years of wonderful memories, and for managing to capture exactly ZERO terrorists! This is one party that needs to end. We are sick up picking up the tab.

Florida Drug Users on Welfare Protected Against Illegal Search and Seizure?

A Federal Judge has temporarily banned drug tests for welfare recipients seeking to “cash in” on the backs of taxpayers in Florida on the basis of Constitutional protections against illegal search and seizure.   

Federal Judge Mary Scriven imposed the temporary ban basically because, in her ruling, she said that the court needs time to determine if the law violates the Constitutional ban on unreasonable search and seizure. Is this some kind of perverted joke? I ask this because I just read an article where the TSA is in fact illegally stopping motorists and searching their cars in a new program DHS likes to call VIPR. 2012 GOP Presidential candidate and current Texas Congressman Ron Paul went on the record stating his objections to the latest set of DHS laws rules in an op-ed from tennesseenewspress.com titled, TSA Releases VIPR Venom on Tennessee Highways .

 

If you thought the “Transportation Security Administration” would limit itself to conducting unconstitutional searches at airports, think again. The agency intends to assert jurisdiction over our nation’s highways, waterways, and railroads as well. TSA launched a new campaign of random checkpoints on Tennessee highways last week, complete with a sinister military-style acronym–VIP(E)R—as a name for the program.

Here[once again] we see a Federal Judge intervening with Florida State law to protect welfare recipients from the [supposedly] illegal search and seizure of a drug test that was enacted simply to ensure the working taxpayers are not funding welfare recipient’s drug habits. Meanwhile, the TSA can fondle citizens private parts at the airport and stop citizens and search their vehicles on any highway in the U.S. with no valid reason.  Ron Paul summed up the new TSA VIPR program pretty well at the end of his op-ed:

 

Disarming the highways and filling them full of jack-booted thugs demanding to see our papers is no way to make them safer. Instead, it is a great way to expand government surveillance powers and tighten the noose around our liberties. (emphasis mine)

 

For those of you naive enough to think Florida welfare recipients are not using illegal drugs, I point to the following facts of the past few months when the law was being enforced: Since the law went into effect in mid-July, over 7,000 applicants have taken and passed the drug test, 32 took the test and failed and approximately 1,600 have refused to the test.  Applicants do not have to say why they refused, but their refusal will block them from receiving the government benefits.  If you are caught operating a motor vehicle in most states while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and refuse to take the sobriety test or submit to a blood test, your drivers license is automatically suspended. Of course, the government makes a huge profit in fines and DUI school in order for you to get your license back,( from the actual working class citizens) while the welfare class doesn’t have any earned money to take from them. ( nor are they paying their fair share in taxes)  If a person was in need of real help in the form of a welfare cash payment in Florida, they simply would have no problem proving that the cash would go towards food or shelter and not dope. Unless of course they are already on dope, and can’t hold down a steady job because of it, therefore they demand that other people support them and their habit. This is the very definitive crux of this problem.

The champion of the welfare class, the ACLU started this whole disgusting federal intervention into Florida’s right to drug test welfare recipients by filing the lawsuit in the first place. Isn’t it weird beyond comprehension on how the ACLU can sit by and allow the TSA to unconstitutionally stick their hands down American citizen’s pants at the airport and also approve of the TSA jack-booted thugs use of the VIPR  illegal automobile searches of American citizens simply traveling from one town to another? Actually, it all doesn’t seem too strange when we consider the idea that the ACLU and the DHS and the TSA are obviously doing the Obama administration’s bidding today.

 Here is serious a tip for our readers :  When traveling across state lines or any other time when in your vehicle, be sure to follow all local, state and federal laws about carrying your second amendment allowed guns with you in your car. What better way for the anti-gun Liberal jack-booted thugs from the TSA to start taking away your right to bear arms through the illegal searches being conducted under the new TSA VIPR program.

 

2012 just can’t get here fast enough!

 

Tennessee partners with TSA

Drivers and bus riders in the Volunteer state will soon have more to deal with than traffic tie-ups. But don’t worry, citizens, it’s all in the name of safety and security.

Tennessee’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security has partnered with the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA), the agency now infamous for excessive body searches of small children and little old ladies in wheelchairs.

Operation VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) is not a response to a particular known threat department Commissioner Bill Gibbons said on Tuesday in a press release. The effort is instead meant to deter and detect activity through a visible state-wide presence.

VIPR includes several other state and federal agencies teamed together to catch or prevent terrorists at the state’s truck weight/inspection stations and bus stations in two of the largest cities, Knoxville and Nashville. The release didn’t say why neither Memphis nor Chattanooga, both metropolitan areas with several interstate routes, were not included.

VIPR is also intended to make the public aware of the First Observer Highway Security Program, a national initiative that uses truck driver volunteers to report suspicious behaviors while driving.

The joint operation is a first to use this kind of presence across a state. It’s unknown at this time if TSA intends to step up searches of private autos at some future point.

TSA fires 28 Honolulu Bag Screeners after "Probe"

Honolulu International Airport

Maui-wowie, man! That’s awesome! The Transportation Security Administration just fired twenty-eight bag screeners at Honolulu International Airport after an extensive criminal probe. In fact, this is the first time I’ve ever approved of reading “TSA” and “probe” in the same sentence…oh, wait. It seems they were only screening for cash and jewels. You mean me and my two young grandkids removed our shoes for nothing? We could have put the C4 in the bags? They fired twenty-eight bag screeners? Holy North Shore Batman! They should all be lei-ed off! Every last thieving one of them! Don’t forget the gropers, either. “Do you have any bombs, explosives, plutonium, or currently glowing nuclear devices or materials to declare? Next!” Twenty-eight TSA workers fired? That’s a good start. But if we fire twenty-eight an hour we can get rid of most of them quite quickly! I’m sure they could quickly hook up (no pun intended) with the porn or massage industries. It’s not like they don’t have experience or sumtin’. And there are seven-hundred and fifty TSA employees wandering around at just one airport? Does anyone else see that as a problem? I also like the idea of getting rid of TSA completely and just giving everyone a weapon. The first guy to pull out a weapon is the terrorist; the second guy… is everyone else. Good luck, first guy. You know why Obama flies Air Force 1? Because the TSA doesn’t let terrorists fly commercial.

The TSA saga continues. How ironic! TSA gets probed. Over 10 years, $1B+ spent, and what to show for it? Thousands of women groped, but not a single terrorist identified! Has the captain ever asked you to fasten your suicide belts? Fly Jihad Airways! But never fear, at least they hand out free 9/11 coloring books. Yay, union labor! To be fair, if they screened all of the bags they wouldn’t have had time to watch the strip searches. Why would they screen for explosives when the x-ray porno movies are being shown in the break room? Nobody likes working the X-Ray machine. They all want to be working at the porno scanner or groping your children’s junk. Wasn’t it Shakespeare who first said “To screen or not to screen? That is the question.” Okay, I’m thinking bomb. To screen is the answer. Now, what was the question again? As an aside, if we were talking about Michelle Obama that quote would be “To eat or not to eat. Fat is the question.”

TSA has taken the necessary steps to ensure every bag has been screened properly at HNL since the agency identified the issue. TSA routinely tests security operations to ensure that proper protocols are being followed, and investigates any indication of misconduct. TSA also utilizes a number of checks to ensure bags are being screened properly including the use of CCTV, random inspections, covert tests, as well as peer and management oversight.

TSA management-level staff and National Deployment Force officers have been temporarily assigned to HNL to augment the current staff and continue to ensure that a high level of security operations continues. An effort will commence to hire local permanent replacements in the coming weeks.
—Aero News Network

I tried to get on with the TSA a few years ago but I got rejected. I had too high of an IQ for them. If measured by their overall common sense, competence, professionalism and intelligence, TSA people are right up there with Wal-mart greeters. In fact, I think the greeters actually have the edge. Seriously, the TSA is made up of formerly unemployed Muppets. We need the Mossad to run the organization. That way you would have a legitimate reason to visit Israel and see the pyramids! If they fire all of the TSA employees then all they will have to pay them is welfare and food stamps—of which they already all get anyway; but they would save a lot of money not having to pay them to sit around all day in an airport while smoking crack in the restrooms. Speaking of rest rooms, isn’t it true that TSA employees have particularly wide stances and tap their feet while… you know.

Now, there is no way to blame Bush for this fiasco. It’s all on Barack Hussein Obama. So let’s take a small interlude from the TSA and tell a few Captain Kickass jokes in honor of Barry and The First Lardass:

  • You know, if you took Obama and gave him a higher IQ and some experience, you would have Jimmy Carter.
  • What do Obama and a beer bottle have in common? They’re both empty from the neck up.
  • What do you tell an Obama with two black eyes? Nothing. He’s already been told twice.
  • What do you get when you offer Obama a penny for his thoughts? Change.
  • What do you call a man with no arms and no legs sitting on your front porch? Obama.
  • What did the left nut say to the right nut? Obama.
  • I see colleges are offering a new course. Yeah, it’s called Food Stamps 101…living in an Obama economy.
  • I heard Obama got a brain transplant and the brain rejected him.
  • Obama’s so clumsy he got tangled up in a cordless phone.
  • Barry doing stand-up comedy: “The Second Amendment? Of course I support Michelle’s right to bare arms.” Pa-dum-dum
  • Obama does more stand-up: “Come on, I won’t cut off your granny’s health care, just her life support.” Pa-dum-dum
  • “Can’t I just get a straight answer?” – Barney Frank (Now how did THAT get in this column about the TSA? Oh, I know. It’s because Frank is in touch with HIS feelings. Kinda’ like the TSA, which is in touch with OUR feelings.)

Alright, let’s leave the TSA for a moment and further dissect Barney Frank. Last night I was on Twitter and asked my Tweeple to engage in a guessing game. The question was “What is Barney Frank’s favorite insect?” Here are some of the hilariously creative answers I received:

  • Note to self: Not the Cock Goblin. — FunkynFortunate
  • I thought it was the Trouser Worm. —rightwingertoo
  • Ladybug? —madreview
  • Tick? —tacsneakyfast
  • Dungbeetle? — LauraWalkerKC
  • Walking Stick — FAMDOC7
  • White Legged Didlopod —tacsneakyfast
  • A Drag(on) Fly — lafayette41
  • Locust? — TheJosiahQ

The correct answer, you might already have guessed, is the cockroach. But that is enough of our pleasant little diversion concerning the esteemed gentleman from Massachusetts. Speaking of cockroaches, don’t you just get the heebie-jeebies every time you look at a picture of Janet Napolitano? See, I knew I could do it! I managed to get us right back to the TSA! Now, about that little ol’ TSA probe and all? (notice the lack of a verb there? Don’t worry, folks. I’m a professional—just don’t try it at home.) Relax. No Democrat employees were injured during that exercise. Which is surprising considering that Bush spent a lot of money killing terrorists and Obama has spent a lot of money killing jobs.

In conclusion let me just say that my new slogan is “Anthony Weiner in ’12. Cuz One Dick wasn’t enough!”

TSA: Same Stimulus—Different Weiner.

Restore freedom and reduce deficit: Defund TSA

The story of a 95-year-old woman’s TSA search is just another example of the agency’s abuse of power and continued attack on our fourth amendment right. (For details on the story, check here.)

If you’re not familiar with YouCut, it’s a site put up by Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Citizens vote in the poll on proposed spending cuts, and can also leave suggestions for proposed cuts.

Here’s my suggestion, in an email sent to Rep. Cantor:

* * *

Greetings Rep. Cantor,

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss and suggest cuts to our overgrown governmental spending problem. You Cut is a fantastic idea.

I have an idea that addresses two concerns at once…

The first concern is, of course, the monumental spending spree and overgrowth of our federal government at the taxpayer’s expense. The second is the growing over-reach and arrogance of the TSA, and its role in violating our rights guaranteed by the fourth amendment.

I’m outraged and disgusted at the increasing number of horror stories about this governmental agency. A 95-year old lady with leukemia forced to endure a humiliating search and removal of her adult undergarment (soiled) before she could fly to her medical treatment? Honestly? Children being strip searched like violent prison inmates?

When people get upset about overly aggressive use of power, like the lady’s daughter who started crying, they’re searched for ‘acting unusual’. Are these agents hired from some kind of emotionally-bankrupt staffing agency? What caring person wouldn’t be upset over their sick, elderly mother being humiliated in such a way? The last I recall, it wasn’t little old ladies flying planes into buildings or bombing the USS Cole or chanting ‘death to America.’

Is this the administration’s way of convincing Americans to shut up and accept the physical intrusion on their person? Is this what our founders – or any reasonable, rational human being – considers ‘freedom’? Is this the liberty that so many fought and died for, that immigrants sacrificed their homelands to find, that we hold in trust for our children?

No, sir, it is not. This is an egregious misuse of governmental power that goes against reasonable search of persons.

And now there are hints and announcements that the TSA wants to stretch from airports to every other method of travel and movement to perform these searches in the name of safety.

If Homeland Security’s goal is to make us feel safe from terrorists, they’ve accomplished this:  I feel much less afraid of Al Qaeda than I do of Janet Napolitano’s unchecked power trip. When did we become the USSA? This is wrong, Mr. Cantor. I know it, you know it, and I’d guess even Napolitano knows it.

I’m not sure how much of our tax dollars is used to fund the TSA, but I’d like to suggest that department’s funding to be cut, either completely or at least in a significant amount, to help keep this rogue agency from systematically harassing the American citizen. We should not be funding the demise of our own freedom.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Respectfully yours…

Texas Rushes to Pass Anti-Groping Bill

TexasThe Texas anti-groping bill has passed out of committee in the state Senate, but the bill seems nothing more than peacock feathers.

First, the special session that the Texas legislature is currently in will end on Wednesday. With a controversial bill just out of committee so late tonight, the likelihood of it passing a floor vote in the Senate is not high.

The real reason this bill is garnering so much attention may be that another piece of legislation intended to rid Texas of so-called “sanctuary cities” is being forgotten.

Sanctuary cities are areas that choose to not enforce immigration laws. They don’t deport illegal immigrants and often don’t even bother to look for them.

The anti-groping bill is nothing more than smoke to hide the fact that the Texas legislature is not doing what the citizens of the lone star state want them to do.

Texas Governor Rick Perry Listens

In an article the beginning of this month, Texans vs TSA, I wrote of how Texas Congressmen caved to the bullying of the federal government, and a bill that had more than 90% of all Texas State Representatives’ support, failed to pass.

Known as the “TSA Anti-Groping Bill”,  Texas HB 1937 would make TSA pat-downs a felony.

To have 90% support for any piece of legislation is almost unheard of. It was expected to pass with flying colors. Then the Justice Department poked their nose in our business and wrote what has been called a “scathing memo” regarding the bill, and threatened legal action against the state of Texas. So as is the norm for politicians, the Texas Sate Representatives tucked tail and ran. And in an instant, the bill, with an overwhelming 90% support, failed in the Texas House.

Texans, being who we are, did not take this lightly. Numerous Facebook groups popped up, a Come and Take It rally, which I highlighted in my previous article, took place on the capital steps, and no telling how many hundreds of thousands of phone calls, emails and tweets were sent to Governor Perry “encouraging” him to add the bill to the agenda  in the Special Session.

Governor Perry is very vocal regarding his belief in States’ Rights. We, the citizens of Texas, challenged him to stand behind his words and not be the “typical politician” spewing hot air. It seems as though he has heard the voice of We The People of the Republic of Texas.  In an article from the Texas Tribune, updated yesterday evening, Governor Perry has indeed added the bill to the agenda for the Special Session.

I hope that the Texas State Representatives realize how serious we, the citizens of Texas, are. We are SICK AND TIRED of the federal government overstepping their boundaries! I truly hope they listen, and vote the way the citizens of Texas want them to vote on the TSA bill. They did not seem to take us seriously before, but they better hear us loud and clear this time:

DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS!

If you pay attention to politics at all, I am sure there are many rumors surrounding the possibility of Rick Perry running for President in 2012. Governor Perry has shown that he will listen to the voice of We The People. I would have to agree with my colleague- we very well may have found what we are searching for. Have we found Reagan 2.0 in Texas Governor Rick Perry?

Texans vs TSA

As a citizen of Texas I was quite proud to hear that the Texas Legislature would be voting on a bill that  would make TSA pat-downs a felony. I was equally outraged when the bill did not pass.

To quote my colleague from an article just a little more than a month ago:

“Simpson’s bill has now been approved in committee and is awaiting debate by the full House. In addition to Simpson, the bill has attracted 70 co-sponsors, who represent more than 90 percent of the votes required to pass the bill in the Texas House of Representatives. According to Simpson, if the bill becomes law, the only way a TSA agent could avoid prosecution would be if a traveler gives written consent to the pat-down after being fully informed of the extent of the procedure.”

If you notice the italicized portion of the quote, the support for the bill was more than 90% of all Texas State Representatives. This is an overwhelming percent of approval, only to have the votes suddenly disappear, thereby causing the bill not to pass at the time the Texas House of Representatives voted on it.

It seems as though the motto “Don’t Mess With Texas” doesn’t apply to our Representatives. They have allowed themselves to be bullied by the federal government.  The Department of Justice sent a threatening letter saying they would stop all air traffic in and out of Texas. And….. our Representatives caved!

The Washington Times headline put it nicer than I would have with this: “Texas Senators Need to Grow a Backbone”.

The Senators of Texas need to do more than grow a backbone- they need to realize that they are there to represent us- We The People of Texas! We are tired of our elected officials bowing down to the special interest groups, and that includes the federal government! We The People of Texas elect you, not the federal government!

There is now a rally pushing Governor Rick Perry to take up TSA Bill (Texas HB 1937) in the special session. The Come and Take It! rally is this Saturday, June 4, at the Texas Capital South Steps from 12:30-1:30pm. As the organizers of this rally say, “we have drawn the line in the sand!”

The question for Governor Perry is this: Do you really believe what you say about States’ Rights, or are you just another politician spewing hot air? As the saying goes, if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. It’s time for Governor Perry to put up or shut up! With the rumors of a possible run for the White House, there is no time like the present to show whether or not he’s cut out for truly taking a stand against special interests and stand up for We The People.

When babies, the elderly, nuns and everyone in between are being subjected to groping in order to travel by air, things have gone too far.

Call, write, email, fax, tweet and send Facebook messages every day to Governor Perry to let your voice be heard! Tell Governor Perry that you are IN FAVOR of HB 1937 and that HB 1937 needs to be placed on the special session agenda. Let the Governor know that you will not sit silently by while our State Representatives allow themselves to be bullied by the federal government! Tell Governor Perry it’s time for him to stand up or shut up!

To contact Governor Perry by phone:
(512) 463-2000    – or –    (800) 252-9600      G

Governor Perry on Twitter: @governorperry @TexGov

Governor Perry on Facebook

TX House Bill 1937 – 82nd Legislature Regular Session

82R20649 JRH-F
By: Simpson, Rodriguez, Menendez, Kolkhorst, H.B. No. 1937
Chisum, et al.
Substitute the following for H.B. No. 1937:
By:  Gallego C.S.H.B. No. 1937
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT
relating to prosecution and punishment for the offense of official
oppression by the intrusive touching of persons seeking access to
public buildings and transportation; providing penalties.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1.  Section 39.03, Penal Code, is amended by
amending Subsections (a) and (b) and adding Subsections (c-1) and
(c-2) to read as follows:
(a)  A person who is a public servant [acting under color of
his office or employment] commits an offense if the person:
(1) while acting under color of the person’s office or
employment [he]:
(A) [(1)]  intentionally subjects another person
to mistreatment or to arrest, detention, search, seizure,
dispossession, assessment, or lien that the actor [he] knows is
unlawful;
(B) [(2)]  intentionally denies or impedes
another person in the exercise or enjoyment of any right,
privilege, power, or immunity, knowing the actor’s [his] conduct is
unlawful; or
(C) [(3)]  intentionally subjects another person
to sexual harassment; or
(2) while acting under color of the person’s office or
employment without probable cause to believe the other person
committed an offense:
(A) performs a search for the purpose of granting
access to a publicly accessible building or form of transportation;
and
(B)  intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
(i) touches the anus, sexual organ,
buttocks, or breast of the other person, including touching through
clothing; or
(ii) touches the other person in a manner
that would be offensive to a reasonable person.
(b)  For purposes of this section, a person who is a public
servant acts under color of the person’s [his] office or employment
if the person [he] acts or purports to act in an official capacity
or takes advantage of such actual or purported capacity.
(c-1) For purposes of Subsection (a)(2), “public servant”
includes:
(1)  an officer, employee, or agent of:
(A)  the United States;
(B) a branch, department, or agency of the United
States; or
(C) another person acting under contract with a
branch, department, or agency of the United States for the purpose
of providing a security or law enforcement service; and
(2) any other person acting under color of federal
law.
(c-2) For a person described by Subsection (c-1)(1) or (2),
it is a defense to prosecution for an offense under Subsection
(a)(2) that the actor performed the search pursuant to and
consistent with an explicit and applicable grant of federal
statutory authority that is consistent with the United States
Constitution.
SECTION 2.  (a) This section applies only to a prosecution of
an offense under Section 39.03(a)(2), Penal Code, as added by this
Act, in which the defendant was, at the time of the alleged offense,
acting under the color of federal law.
(b)  In a prosecution described by Subsection (a) of this
section, if the government of the United States, the defendant, or
the defendant’s employer challenges the validity of Section
39.03(a)(2), Penal Code, as added by this Act, on grounds of
unconstitutionality, preemption, or sovereign immunity, the
attorney general of this state, with the consent of the appropriate
local county or district attorney, shall take any actions necessary
on behalf of the state to defend the validity of the statute. The
attorney general may make any legal arguments the attorney general
considers appropriate, including that this Act constitutes a valid
exercise of:
(1)  the state’s police powers;
(2)  the liberty interests of the people secured by the
Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution;
(3)  the powers reserved to the states by the Tenth
Amendment to the United States Constitution; or
(4)  the rights and protections secured by the Texas
Constitution.
SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
Act takes effect September 1, 2011.


Texas Bill would make TSA pat-downs a Felony

The Texas Legislature is taking up consideration of a bill that would make it illegal for security officers to intentionally touch a person’s genitalia, even through layers of clothing. Violations of the new law, if implemented, would be felonies. The only exemption to the law would be if the security officer could prove he or she had probable cause to believe the person was carrying something of an illegal nature.

The bill is sponsored by State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview who says the current body searches by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel remove people’s dignity from them. Simpson maintains that current searches by TSA personnel at airports nationwide constitute a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches.

The news of this bill’s introduction into the Texas legislature comes on the heels of the news that the former 2003 Miss USA, Susie Castillo, claims she was “molested” in April, 2009 during a pat-down by a TSA officer. To date there has been no official response to the announcement of the bill by the TSA or by any official within the Obama Administration. Nicholas Kimball, a spokesman for the TSA, said that the agency does not comment on pending legislation. “We wish we lived in a world where security procedures weren’t necessary, but that simply isn’t the case,” Kimball said. “We know that terrorists continue trying to manipulate societal norms to evade detection and the measures in place are the best tools currently available to mitigate risk. As we explore ways to improve our approach and become more risk-based and intelligence-driven, we welcome travelers’ feedback and appreciate their understanding.”

Simpson’s bill has now been approved in committee and is awaiting debate by the full House. In addition to Simpson, the bill has attracted 70 co-sponsors, who represent more than 90 percent of the votes required to pass the bill in the Texas House of Representatives. According to Simpson, if the bill becomes law, the only way a TSA agent could avoid prosecution would be if a traveler gives written consent to the pat-down after being fully informed of the extent of the procedure.

TSA Chief Opens the Door for Unions

      Last November The National Labor Relations Board , lead by Obama appointee Hilda Solis caved in to Union pressure that Transportation Security Officers hold a vote on Unionization for purposes other than collective bargaining. After supposed careful consideration, another Obama appointee , TSA Chief Mr. Pistole recently expanded this to include previously barred collective bargaining for TSO’s. Here is a summary paragraph from the TSA* home page:

“Last November, the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) issued a decision that called for an election among TSOs to determine whether a majority of officers wished to have exclusive union representation for purposes other than collective bargaining. Administrator Pistole’s Determination allows this election to move forward and lays out specific terms for limited, clearly-defined collective bargaining within a framework consistent with TSA’s security mission, should TSOs elect a union.”

    Here we have the pattern of one Obama appointee unlocking the door for Union cronies at the TSA, and then the next appointee taking it a step further towards total Union control. This is what we are referring to when we say the government gets their foot in the door with seemingly harmless actions, then it leads to huge bureaucracies with bloated budgets and Union corruption for vote buying schemes. Once the Unions get into power, labor prices skyrocket as in the examples of  Union penions bankrupting cities and states across the nation we see today. I also see Mr. Pistole finishing his above statement with “should TSO’s elect a Union.” Will Mr. Pistole inform said TSO’s about the dangers of climbing into bed with a Union, putting in 20 – 30 years of hard work only to be told there is no money to pay your pension?  That is happening today folks. Hopefully TSO -TSA workers will take this into consideration before voting on this critical action.

    For those readers out there that think this looks good on paper, I have to ask if you are aware that two Unions are fighting over these workers? In the picture below, we can see the AFGE, AFL-CIO  advertising for their Union by providing signs to “help”  TSO’s already.

  How about that? Isn’t that nice of them? Do you think that sign is a free gift? I wonder how many of them they went to the expense of making and installing them for, there are across the country? Considering that the AFGE represents  Government Employees, and it is their dues paying for these signs, and it is the taxpayer who pays said government employees salaries, then it is you the taxpayer who paid for those helpful signs. As for the “projected cost” to the taxpayer of unionizing the TSO’s, I’ll let Mr. Pistole tell you again from the TSA website:*

“How much will unionization cost TSA?
There will be no cost to TSA unless and until a union is certified by the FLRA as the winner of the election. If exclusive union representation is voted for by a majority of TSOs, our preliminary estimates are that implementation would cost between $5-8 million annually, which amounts to approximately one-quarter of one percent of TSA’s budget for security officer salaries.”

    Only 5 – 8 million a year, if you believe government “projected” figures. When I mentioned two Unions fighting for TSA workers membership, Mr. Pistole further enlightens us once again:

“What are the unions participating in the election?
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) are the two unions who currently have sufficient interest among the TSA workforce to participate in the election. The ballot will have three options: AFGE, NTEU, No Union. If no option receives more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election will be conducted between the two choices receiving the most and second most number of votes.”

     When discussing the Unionization of the TSA workforce here, we have to include another agenda the Liberal Democrats have been trying to shove into play for the last two years: Card Check leglislation. This is another mis-named piece of stealth leglislation masquerading as The Employee Fair Choice Act. Ill let the U. S.  Chamber of Commerce** explain this Union payback agenda :

“The “Employee Free Choice Act”—better known as the Card Check bill—is a proposed law that would change how unions are allowed to organize workers in the United States. Big labor unions like the AFL-CIO, SEIU, and the Change to Win Coalition spent heavily during the 2009 election, and are pushing Congress to approve this law. Union membership has been declining—currently about 7.5 percent in the private sector—and they hope this law will change the rules and reverse that trend.”

   With many States now recognizing the implications of big Union demands and unfunded pension plans bankrupting budgets across the nation, why would anyone in their right mind want to continue with this madness ? Here we now have the invasion of thousands of new TSA workers adding to our budget woes and we want to allow them to Unionize another 45,000  TSA workers ?  America voted for smaller, more accountable government in 2010. That simply will not be achieved with Obama appointees advancing the Union payback/election buying schemes of today.

 * http://www.tsa.gov/press/happenings/2011/11_0204_fact_sheet_on_collective_bargaining.shtm

 **http://www.uschamber.com/issues/labor/employee-free-choice-act-card-check-bill

Budgetary Gimmicks – We’re Only Fooling Ourselves

Anyone who has run a business or even a household budget, knows all too well that budget “gimmicks” will turn around and bite you sooner or later. Whether you are shifting overrun costs from one year to the next or spending more than you take in, most gimmicks are basically a deception and denial of reality. Unfortunately, this slight-of-hand is a common practice in our government budgeting methods.  These politically motivated budgetary deceptions are killing our infrastructure and eroding our economy and as The Wall Street Journal reported, it may soon impact our credit rating.

Moody’s Investors Service said in a report Thursday that the U.S. will need to reverse an upward trajectory in the debt ratios to support its triple-A rating.

“We have become increasingly clear about the fact that if there are not offsetting measures to reverse the deterioration in negative fundamentals in the U.S., the likelihood of a negative outlook over the next two years will increase,” said Sarah Carlson, senior analyst at Moody’s.

Our government exudes incompetence and a lack of true accounting practices today, when we look at the massive gimmickry they use in budgeting the taxpayers hard earned dollars. The truth in this statement is quite obvious in the following example.

TSA Hiring Project Runs 700% Over Budget

According to the Washington Post, in 2002, the TSA issued a $104 million contract to hire airport screeners. By 2006, the cost had skyrocketed almost 700% to $741 million.

“TSA officials then moved forward with no planning ‘or adequate cost control,’ the report said, and they ignored warnings from contractor NCS Pearson Inc. that project costs had far exceeded the budget approved by Congress.” When asked why the initial cost projections were so inaccurate, the TSA program administer who managed the program said, “That $1 billion was a number out of the air, frankly.” He continued, “All I got from the DOT was, ‘When you hit $1 billion, come back to us.’” With this level of insightful analysis put into estimating the true costs of the project, it is less than shocking that TSA’s contractor went over budget.

Fast forward to today. With the addition of the new scanners, thousands of new workers, and other assorted equipment that the TSA currently employs on American citizens when traveling, we cannot even form an educated guess as to the total cost overruns there. In this case, the original budget gimmickry is that there was an initial start-up cost assessment, yet there appears to be no long term Life-Cycle Budgeting. This is akin to a blank check for the never-ending expansion of the TSA, with no built-in accountability or transparency. As noted in the article above, when they hit 1 billion tax dollars, come back to us. There is the gimmick. “A no-limit budget.” It is impossible to declare any form of fiscal sanity with cost projections approved of $104M, and four years later you have spent $741M. Where is the oversight and cost-controls that should slow this money-train down?

In the TSA example, there was no Life-Cycle Budgeting involved, and there are no stated plans to install any. In the real world, the TSA would be declared bankrupt and closed down. This is a deceptive form of fraud against the taxpayer, as we are being asked to fund a never-ending expansion of the TSA with no transparent or accountable budgeting involved. We can do better, and our current economic situation demands it be done immediately.

Infrastructure projects are an important part of our economy and when not budgeted properly, can have devastating long-term economic consequences. These projects are a critical investment towards our economic growth and stability. When we neglect our infrastructure through short-sited, stop gap measures and temporary repairs, we are headed for a disaster of epic proportions. Our transportation system will eventually grind to a halt. Businesses will no longer be able to get materials and products from point A to point B. Our roads, bridges, rail systems, and shipping ports must be maintained and rebuilt with true a more complete and transparent set of practices – life cycle budgeting.

These projects must contain an honest level of transparency in all phases. Access to the budgeting process is necessary towards understanding the true costs of proposed, ongoing and future projects. This must include initial construction costs, plus long term maintenance costs over the lifespan of the project, and together they must be included in the initial proposed budget figures. When we fail to do this, we have people being killed by crumbling bridges due to lack of proper maintenance and inspections and transportation delays that have a massive trickle down effect on our economy. When this type of disaster happens, the reports state that the government didn’t have the money or resources to maintain the project. Wouldn’t they have had the resources if they had properly figured the complete life cycle costs for the project in the beginning?

When discussing our economic problems of today, we have to really look into how our Government spends our tax dollars to find a working solution.. Without transparency in the budgeting process, the nation is kept in the dark as a whole, and the problems of short-sightedness in our budgeting will continue to weaken our economy. Is our Government actually so incompetent and short-sighted ?

When people buy a new car, do they expect to have expense-free transportation for the next twenty years? Even the youngest generation of drivers soon learns that there are life-cycle expenses in owning a car. These include proper maintenance, such as oil changes, new tires, and operating expenses, such as fuel. Without proper budgeting for all expenses involved with driving a car, the person can end up with a car that isn’t able to get them from point A to point B when needed. They may get four years of use out of the car without any maintenance, but then their original investment is lost and they have to go out and buy another car. This isn’t cost effective, and people are quick to learn to use life-cycle budgeting when buying a new car. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say. Figure in the cost of maintenance and related expenses when buying a new car, and you will never end up having to use your vehicle maintenance funds for fuel , which then leads to shortening the life of your investment. This should be common sense, but it doesn’t seem to apply to the people in our Government today. When it comes to calculating the actual lifetime costs of Infrastructure projects, our Government displays seemingly major incompetency and ineptitude. Why is that?

Politics, of course.

Our Federal and State governments today way too often try to score political points instead of trying to get more bang for the Taxpayer’s buck. This has been going on for decades with no end in sight. From funding bridges to nowhere, to Airports that only serve a dozen people a day, to paying out millions of dollars a year for maintenance on federal buildings that were tore down years ago, the abuse and malfeasance can almost always be traced back to political posturing, corruption, fraud or flat out cronyism. A lack of transparency is at the main root of these wasteful projects. Politicians that are more concerned with vote-buying through “bringing home the bacon to their districts,” than the actual betterment of our Nation, are robbing our Nation of critical infrastructure dollars. This is a direct threat to our Economy and National Security. Federal and State legislatures are supposed to be the guardians of our nation through the proper use of taxpayer dollars. The most effective, proven way to ensure this, is to demand transparent, full life cycle cost budgeting in all forms of government spending. The future of our great Nation depends on it.

Abolish the Transportation Security Administration

Democrats’ favorite strategy is to blame George W. Bush for everything from high unemployment to Hurricane Katrina, so it should come as no surprise that some on the left are attempting to pin the abuses of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on the former president, despite the fact that the Obama administration—with the exception of Hillary Clinton, who has political reasons to distance herself from her boss—is fully supportive of pat-down procedures that would, as one protesting passenger correctly noted, constitute sexual assault if performed by anyone other than government employees.

Strangely, however, a majority of liberals (at least those in the media) have chosen not to assign blame at all, and are instead diligently pretending that groping innocent citizens is the niftiest thing since solar panels, patiently reminding the unwashed masses that it’s perfectly acceptable to trade liberty for security.

The TSA was created during Bush’s presidency, two months after the tragic 9/11 attacks, but it was Democrats who insisted that airport security be handled by federal employees, rather than private firms. And, of course, the screening procedures in question were implemented a few weeks ago with the approval of a federal government controlled entirely by Democrats. Republicans have committed their fair share of screw-ups, but can’t be blamed for this one.

Unfortunately, the media has focused on a handful of bizarre mishaps (like the rupturing of a Michigan bladder cancer survivor’s urostomy bag during a pat-down), which distracts from the fact that the procedures themselves are outrageous even when performed properly. Forcing “free” individuals to expose themselves to potentially harmful radiation, or submit to full-body pat-downs which include the feeling of genitalia, is simply unacceptable. Such unreasonable actions justify civil disobedience.

Some lawmakers are listening to passengers’ concerns, like Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who introduced the American Traveler Dignity Act. It would revoke TSA screeners’ legal immunity, requiring them to obey the same sexual harassment laws that apply to the general public. Perhaps the new Republican majority in the House, which has reason to fear the withdrawal of Tea Party support if it does not govern as promised, will be more open to Paul’s proposals than past Republican majorities.

Everyone seems to have a different idea of what to do about the TSA. The left, because of its politically-motivated refusal to acknowledge any problems on Obama’s watch, pretends that there is no problem, and some of the faux conservatives on the center-right—the same who supported the unconstitutional Patriot Act several years ago—echo this view. Some argue that profiling (used successfully by the Israelis) is the way to go, which has sent liberal race-baiters into an arms-flailing tizzy. Others think that the x-ray scanners are just fine, and only the invasive pat-downs should be done away with. Or the reverse.

Regardless of the eventual outcome of the debate, an important first step must be taken before new procedures are established: The abolition of the TSA.

The agency was created nine years ago by an act of Congress, and now that it has proven itself to be incapable of providing security while respecting constitutional rights, it can be dismantled just as easily by another act of Congress. Acknowledge the mistake, issue an apology, and move forward. That is how good government works.

But it’s not how the current administration works. By continuing to subsidize security theater, and dismissing the valid complaints of concerned citizens, the Democrats in power are setting themselves up for a disaster in the next election. Did they learn nothing this year?

Recent Entries »